Wellbeing Budget 2023

Support for today
Building for tomorrow

Delivering the services that New Zealanders rely on

The Government provides critical services that New Zealanders rely on day-to-day, including health, education, welfare and infrastructure. It is important that we protect and strengthen these services so they can keep supporting Kiwis’ lives. The recent spike in inflation has not only placed pressure on household budgets, it has also increased the costs of delivering Government services for individuals, families and businesses. Our focus is on providing frontline services that are high quality and accessible.


Education is critical to the success of New Zealand’s economy and society now and in the future. In recognition of this, we are investing $3.6 billion total operating and $1.3 billion total capital in education initiatives to boost skills, improve achievement and attendance, and lift pay to attract and retain teachers.

Quality schools and classrooms are important for both students and teachers, and contribute to educational success. In Budget 2023, the Government is providing:

  • $400 million total capital and $55.4 million total operating to continue the National Education Growth Plan, which will add approximately 6,600 student places to the school network and four new schools.
  • $50 million total capital and $13.1 million total operating to extend the Ngā Iti Kahurangi school infrastructure programme to 175 more schools, which will deliver property improvements to small, isolated schools across New Zealand.
  • $120 million total capital and $27 million total operating to modify school buildings, with modifications such as automatic doors, lifts and bathroom refits, to support the needs of students.
  • $112.5 million total capital and $21.9 million total operating to expand Māori medium education infrastructure across kura, which will support meeting the Government’s objective of 30 percent of ākonga Māori learning in Māori medium education environments by 2040.
  • $157.4 million total capital and $41.3 million total operating to support 33 school projects that require funding as part of the Christchurch Schools’ Rebuild programme following the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.

Further to the $260 million total operating being provided to ECE providers to meet rising costs, we are providing $233.9 million total operating for schools’ operational grants and $521 million total operating for tertiary tuition and training subsidies. This overall investment of $1 billion will help ensure education providers are sufficiently resourced to deliver quality educational outcomes across the entire education and training system.

Alternative education is important for students who are at risk of or are disengaged from mainstream education. In Budget 2023, we are investing $41.1 million total operating to support students at risk of disengagement to better engage with learning. Of this, $25.3 million will support more than 2,000 teenagers in Years 9-13 in Alternative Education, through addressing historical underfunding and improving education experiences. Additionally, $15.8 million will be provided to design and implement local approaches to supporting Primary and Intermediate aged students.

In order to provide quality education to children and young people it is critical that we have a sufficient teacher supply. We are extending funding in Budget 2023 ($23.6 million total operating) to boost Initial Teacher Education enrolments and incentivise overseas teachers to move to New Zealand through providing a relocation grant for trained teachers. This funding will also assist former teachers to return to the profession and help match graduates and returning teachers with long-term positions. This investment will support over 1,700 teachers to enter or return to the profession across Aotearoa.

As part of our COVID-19 package in 2020, we launched the Apprenticeship Boost programme, with additional funding in Budget 2022 due to the scheme’s success in helping attract 16,000 new apprentices between August 2020 and April 2022. The Government is further extending this programme through to 31 December 2024 to ensure there is a strong pipeline of skilled workers for key industries. The investment of $77.1 million total operating ($17.1 million of which is new funding in Budget 2023) will enable an estimated 30,000 apprentices to start or continue receiving support.

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